Tag Archives: guinea pigs

“Girl, you don’t need make up.”

56. The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo – Amy Schumer

I have to say, I really liked Amy’s show and this book more than I like her stand up. Her show was just awesomely clever. Her stand up seems to have an edge to it like she wants to be who she is, but she’s intimidated by who she has projected at the same time and doesn’t want that to get through. The book though, it reads much more realistically for the most part.

There’s a lot more vulnerability in her book than I expected and that is what’s missing from most of the living celebrity books I’ve read. So many of them just skip over anything difficult like “Well, I got through it, so whatever” instead of realizing that’s where the story is. Amy Schumer didn’t do that as much. There’s a lot of difficulty that I respect her for discussing and some parts that maybe didn’t need to be there, and that seems as much like a life metaphor as anything else so it’s totally fine.

Pickles just got back from the Museum of Boyfriend Wardrobe Atrocities. She’s hiding from the psychic wounds braided belts inflict.

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Lemonheads do not lead to interdimensional children taking you hostage, just so we’re clear.

52. Sour Candy – Kealan Patrick Burke

You can’t react perfectly all the time – and in this case, it will cost you quite a bit to show even a hint of recognition.

In this novella, noticing a small child in a grocery store ruined a man’s life and brought him into contact with some creepy antler beasts. And of course, the child won’t let him eat or leave or talk to anyone or call the police and report being held hostage by a terrifying, whiny, otherworldly child. Parenting, am I right? Well, no, I’m not for two reasons: 1. That wasn’t his child! He just invaded and took over! Evil child. 2. I will never parent a human. Never! And I now know that ignoring human children while in stores is a reasonable choice if I wish to avoid netherworldly responsibility.

Taking care of Finny is the kind of netherworldly responsibility I accepted. Willingly.

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“Look out honey it’s the big black witchcraft rock”

49. Hex – Thomas Olde Heuvelt

In some ways the witch’s hex on the town of Black Rock really screwed her over too. No good deed goes unpunished, as they say. And poor Katherine is just as stuck as she made everyone else, which would leave something to be desired after you’d already had your mouth sewn shut – if you can’t complain about small town life, what’s the point? Especially 350 years in.

Anyway, though, Katherine’s made it so EVERYONE is stuck in Black Rock, so if you move in, you are now also stuck. The scenes of townspeople trying to get away were very anxious and reminded me of the beginnings of a solid asthma attack. Her curse also extends itself to her showing up in various people’s homes for periods of time, just standing there, which is both creepy as all hell and would totally suck if you were her.

And, as with most assumed witches in addition to real ones in these kinds of stories, there are people in the town who think they weirdly relate to Katherine, people who feel protective over her when she definitely doesn’t care, a woman who tries too hard for her cursed friendship, and teenage boys who torment her. All haunting choices which generally lead to badness. Also, I do not know Dutch, so I read the English ending, which is pretty gnarly.

Peregrine’s revenge on Finny would not take 350 years. 350 seconds, tops. He was really good at being defiant.

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Pizza Hut date!

38. Back from the Dead – Carol Gorman

I have liked every book by Carol Gorman I’ve read thus far and this one was no exception. It’s got lots of fun stuff to work with: popular teens who are total dicks and burn down a cabin with an unpopular teen inside, intriguing investigations taken on by the honorable girls of the school newspaper, mystery solving via breaking and entering to look for a typewriter (basically), and the hysterical popular girl – Nikki – who acts just like all actual mean popular girls trying to cover up a murder. One thing I realized as I was finishing it though, I recalled that Heath had no dental records and was not the real murderer (spoiler alert) or a ghost murderer, but I’m not sure it was ever truly established that he was definitely dead. Perhaps this imaginary town elected a coroner with no medical training.

Murderface knows you have to dig to uncover the real truth and Pickles will follow her to the end.

Mixtape:

1. You Want the Candy – The Raveonettes
2. It’s a Party – The Subways
3. When the Stars Begin to Fall – Tomahawk
4. Mile Markers – The Dead Weather
5. Leather Feather – Torche
6. Neat Neat Neat – The Damned
7. NARC – Interpol
8. She’s Lost Control – Joy Division
9. Neighborhood #2 (Laika) – The Arcade Fire
10. You Could Never Tell – The Horrors
11. I Don’t Know – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
12. Crypt Key – Windhand
13. Rough Detective – The Dead Weather
14. Christine – John Carpenter
15. She Bangs the Drums – The Stone Roses

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Do not haggle with Xanthu.

55. My Soul to Keep – Jean M. Favors

The main reason I bought this book is because the cover kicks ass. I want to parody it with the guinea pigs, but I can’t because it’s too absurd already and I’d just be sticking a pig in there and that’s not enough, frankly. It features a UFO beaming twin neon green lights onto a cat sitting on top of a tombstone in a cemetery. Yes!

The cat is important and its name is Sekhmet, just like the cat in the book about stupid teen Satanists I covered earlier this summer. Both Sekhmets I’ve read about were smarter and cooler than the teen lady protagonists in their respective books. Sekhmet is guarding April, who isn’t that cool, but has been signed up for an ESP “experiment” by her cousin Sherm, who is a little bit of a maniac. The overall plot of this book was very odd, but, worth it to read (like people have said about my work on anonymous internet forums) and as mentioned, the cover is amazing.

Ozymandias holds the fate of many souls underneath his sweet little fuzzy feet.

Mixtape:

1. King of the Rumbling Spires – T Rex
2. Killer – Midnight Force
3. Wooden Cross (I Can’t Wake the Dead) – Witchcraft
4. The Horned Goddess – The Sword
5. Captain – Ween
6. Infinity – Queens of the Stone Age
7. The Wizard – Black Sabbath
8. Blood Runner – Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats
9. Creeping Flesh – Terrortron
10. Power of Darkness – Danzig
11. The Lost – Uniform
12. Burn the Black Flame – Terrortron
13. Division Ruine – Carpenter Brut
14. Against the Door – Pinkish Black

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Why yes, she did make them journal.

33. Secrets to Tell – Ann Gabhart

Camping with your therapist! I’m sure that at this point in time, the legal liabilities of taking several therapy patients on the same wilderness hike where they have tools and are supposed to be honest with everyone would shut this story down before it even began. That said, it was a good read. Things did not go well, ankles were twisted, allergic reactions were caused (Damon is a shitty human being and he’s lucky Gayle had an epipen, I mean, shit, being allergic to wasps is nothing to play with.), a fourth degree assault happened, they ran out of food, and got lost; but, lessons were learned along the way about resilience and how it’s not great if you step into a bear trap in the dark.

“If they ran out of food, why didn’t they just whistle for more treats?” – Pammy, a clearly seasoned outdoors pig.

Mixtape:

1. Invasion A.D. – Carpenter Brut
2. Take Me to the River – Talking Heads
3. Roaring Waters – The Darkness
4. Skin Moth – Torche
5. These Thoughts – Sweet Knives
6. Feel the Love Go – Franz Ferdinand
7. Never Let You Down – Greenskeepers
8. Get Away – Jeffrey Lee Pierce
9. Keep Moving On – Gallon Drunk
10. Black Jack – The Hives
11. Treason! Animals. – Franz Ferdinand
12. Life Means Nothing, Death Means Nothing – Ice Dragon
13. Habit – Uniform
14. Skull Eyes – True Widow

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30 Helens agree.

27. The Man in the Woods – Rosemary Wells

It’s easy to get jaded when reading YA as a cynical adult, so whenever I read a YA novel that was published in the YA version of the trade paperback format that has a really good story, I get confused. The Man in the Woods has a good story, solid characters, a thorough characterization of a town, and was written by an author whose children’s books involve guinea pigs! Sometimes!

One thing, this is the first book I will be covering this summer that involves solving a mystery of who is being threatening by finding a typewriter, which seems weird, but, also okay as I do like typewriters and have now learned that I should never type threatening letters on a distinct one. Done.

Anyway, Helen is a fun character to follow while she tries to solve the mystery behind an accident she witnesses, navigate the horrors of joining her new school’s newspaper, and make decent friends while basically ruining the town’s legacy. It’s not very easy.

There were no typewriters under the blankets. Twiglet’s search continues.

Mixtape:

1. Almanac – Widowspeak
2. Until the Night Is Over – Timber Timbre
3. Far from Any Road – The Handsome Family
4. Wither – True Widow
5. Old Shoes (and Picture Postcards) – Tom Waits
6. The Argus – Ween
7. Woke Up This Morning – Abner Jay
8. For the Love of Ivy – The Gun Club
9. Ceremonial Secrets – Glitter Bones
10. Bedlam – Gallon Drunk
11. The Apple & the Tree – Graveyard
12. A Thousand Years – Gallon Drunk
13. Light Into Dark – Windhand
14. Rope on Fire – Morphine

 

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Young’uns. They exist.

21. The Nightmare Man – Tessa Krailing

The protagonist in this extraordinarily short novel is extremely young. SO young. So it doesn’t read like other Point Horror and the title is more like “I need a nightlight because I’m 10 and scared” nightmare than like mind-ripping teenage brutality… because that’s what all the other Point Horror novels are like, mind-ripping teenage brutality. This reads like some kids snuck into a movie they were too young to see, but, not really because it’s just a fine little story about ghosts and taxidermy and a pond set in the UK.

“I believe I was promised mind-ripping brutality.” – Duncan

Mixtape:

1. Bakom Varje Fura – Finntroll
2. A Stroll through Hive Manor Corridors – The Hives
3. They Only Come out at Night – Dance with the Dead
4. The Light at the End (Effect) – Uniform
5. Cold, Cold Rain – Danzig
6. Bottomless Pit – King Dude
7. New Dawn Fades – Joy Division
8. Still Evolving – Josh Freda
9. Sister Doom Face – Harglow
10. Sons of Thunder – High on Fire
11. Midnattens Widunder – Finntroll
12. That House – Dance with the Dead
13. To Here Knows When – My Bloody Valentine

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“It would be easier to stop Karswell’s demon than a woman with her mind made up.”

36. The Crush II – Jo Gibson

Carla, main narrator, would like you to know that she is plain. So plain. She has glasses! How astonishingly plain of her.

Anyway, now that we know that Carla is plain, we should talk about psychopath killer Judy and popular musician Michael. Oh, and this is the second book and I haven’t read the first, but I get the impression they might just follow a bit of a formula. You see, every girl that dates Michael gets killed – by Judy, the Cupid Killer. But! At the beginning of The Crush II, Michael gets out of protective custody at the hospital and doesn’t invite Judy to his welcome home party so she drives off a cliff after leaving a letter explaining that she is the Cupid Killer and Michael isn’t. Very clever, Judy.

This book actually was pretty amusing, you see all the main kids work at a teenager music bar that serves fruit drinks (mmhmm) and it’s a really easy place for Michael to realize he loves plainass Carla, but then go out with Heidi and her showbiz connections instead. And then, when Carla takes off her glasses for a movie part and starts wearing flowy separates because of the same movie part, Michael realizes he loves her again, and then allows himself to be nearly date raped by Vera. When Carla rescues him from that situation, sort of, he realizes he loves her again – only to have his childhood best friend show up and seduce him! Of course, Miss Showbiz and Vera have been killed at this point by Judy’s ghost? A copycat Cupid Killer? Nope. It all becomes clear after childhood best friend turned seductress gets murdered and Michael gives his class ring to Carla! Plain old, unmurderable Carla. Well, she gets stabbed – Judy killed a hitchhiker and stuck her in her car, but she lives so she and Michael can be “engaged to be engaged.” Barf. Put your glasses back on Carla, then Judy won’t recognize you when she inevitably escapes from the mental hospital.

Ozma is the Michael of my herd, she’s like, so popular with the boys. So popular.

Mixtape:

1. Temptation – New Order
2. Empathy Boxes – All of Them Witches
3. Heart On – Eagles of Death Metal
4. Garbage City – Hanni El Khatib
5. The Cardinal Sin – Dead Can Dance
6. You’re Toast – Electric Six
7. Don’t Ask Me to Love You – The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster
8. We Hit a Wall – Chelsea Wolfe
9. Funtime – Iggy Pop
10. March to the Altar – Terrortron
11. Monday Hunt – Carpenter Brut
12. Dressed to Kill – Dance with the Dead
13. Future Persuasion – Electric Citizen
14. Down with the King – Midnight Force
15. Rats in Paradise – The Birthday Party
16. Whorehoppin – Eagles of Death Metal

 

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Holding cells are where the Halloween magic really happens.

35. Amy – Samantha Lee

British book about US Halloween, excuse me, the States’ Hallowe’en, bring on the yokel language and stuff that doesn’t happen! Follow that up with words we don’t use and more hick language, add one ghost, and you have Amy. It’s short. And kinda sad. For every biscuit (cookies are a bad idea to give out for trick or treat, they crumble and nobody said they were little packs of Oreos when they were walking around carrying cookies in their sheet-based outfits) and holdall that don’t work, there’s a “Land sakes!” that made me laugh. Also, like every imaginary small town story, there’s just one big area for the holding cells that need to, um, hold, the biker who comes through town to solve mysteries, the town drunk, and not the perpetrators of evil dressed as vampires – twin teen boys… or the person who really is responsible for the drowned ghost running around in a sheet full of cookie crumbs.

Pickles would’ve been all right if they gave out cilantro on Halloween, but no one does that either.

Mixtape:

1. Lone – Chelsea Wolfe
2. All Hallows’ Eve – The Heartwood Institute
3. Pursuit – All of Them Witches
4. Hear the Sirens Scream – Electric Wizard
5. We’ve Seen the Blood – The Mangled Dead
6. Bride of the Devil – Electric Six
7. Revenged – Repeated Viewing
8. A Face in the Fog – Joel Grind
9. Blue Harvest – All of Them Witches
10. Get Out – Wojciech Golczewski
11. Walkin’ on the Sidewalks – Queens of the Stone Age
12. Hexagram – Graham Reznick
13. Diablerie – Windhand
14. All Hallows’ (Epilogue) – Ogre & Dallas Campbell
15. Two Spirit – Chelsea Wolfe

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